Highline Passes Federal Milestone

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From the press release I e-got a second ago:

On Monday, June 13, the Surface Transportation Board, the federal regulator with oversight of all rail lines, approved the City of New York's request for a Certificate of Interim Trail Use, or CITU, for the High Line.

Thank the stars they didn't have to ask Assemblyman Sheldon Silver about it. The public project in his disctrict, the one he so valiantly fought for by killing the stadium, isn't faring so well.

(On the other hand, now that the Stadium is caput, perhaps the HL can have back the northern tail of the old rail, which was the most interesting part. It curls around the rail yards and is adjacent to the West Side Highway for three blocks. I always felt the potential connection to Hudson River Park, across the highway, was irresistible).

The High Line is a rare public project: one that has emerged from public discourse, and has been sustained by a mix of focused public support and favorable policy decisions, like today's. Along the way, it has become a more interesting, rich, and diverse project. The vision has emerged and strengthened, and hasn't succumbed to the signal degradation most public projects get. Like the third sibling in a family, the one that the parents aren't paying attention to, it quietly succeeds, and builds its own world of hope, while everyone else is fighting.

Shepherding the sheep are Friends of The High Line. My direct experience with them has given me the impression that we are being guided by savvy and connected smart people.

Stadium team: take notes. WTC team: take notes.

Wednesday is an opportunity for you to get involved in this discourse. At 9.30am, at City Hall, Manhattan, New York City, the City Council hears testimony regarding the rezoning of West Chelsea, which is another piece of the puzzle to getting the High Line Park or Whatever It Is Called. People are invited to come, and to speak if they are so inspired.

Another aspect, which may be of interest to websites like, oh, Cool Hunting, is that they've had great support from Pentagram, and Paula Sher, who painted one of her lovely maps, this time of the Chelsea neighborhood for FHL. FHL has the best graphic identity of any public effort I've ever seen.

NYC2012, please take note. (although their website intro is kiki.)

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